2 March 2023 – Today, G7 city leaders gathered in Tokyo and online for the third annual U7 Mayors Summit. The mayors discussed their vision for the role of cities in the G7 process as Japan takes on the G7 presidency. The event was hosted by the Japan Designated City Mayors’ Association (JDCMA), with support from the U7 Secretariat (ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the GPM – Global Parliament of Mayors). The mayors applauded the G7’s unprecedented recognition of the Urban7, cities, sustainable urban development and multilevel governance under Germany’s G7 Presidency in 2022. Looking ahead, the city leaders presented their 2023 U7 Mayors Declaration, which was drafted collaboratively by the national city networks of the G7 members and the U7 Secretariat. The declaration highlights the important role of cities as custodians of peace and democracy. It also outlines how sustainable urban development can serve as the engine for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and facing the global climate emergency. Furthermore, the declaration addresses the role of cities in disaster preparedness, response, and resilience, especially in the wake of the recent earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. Finally, the declaration calls on the G7 members to support a shift toward true multi-level governance.
At the Summit, mayors addressed pressing challenges, including the global climate emergency and the destruction of Ukrainian cities in Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. They explored the role that cities can play in addressing these challenges as partners with their national governments.
After the Summit, the mayors handed over their declaration to representatives of Japan’s G7 Presidency. They met with Hideyuki Nakano (Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office), Akira Yanagimoto (Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of the Environment), and Yasushi Furukawa (Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) to present their vision. The mayors present praised Japan’s G7 Presidency for their support of the Urban7 process and openness to engaging with city leaders.
Dr. Peter Kurz, Mayor of Mannheim, Germany and Chair of the Global Parliament of Mayors said: “The Urban7 is a process, not an end goal. As this process enters its third year, I am pleased with the progress we have made, and optimistic about the growing recognition of the value cities can add in international processes, especially the G7. I firmly believe that real multi-level governance will lead to better policy, which means better outcomes.”
About the Urban7: The G7 Urban7 (U7) advocates for a continuous dialogue between the G7 nations and municipal actors represented by national associations and supported by international city networks. It addresses the G7 Presidency and is moved forward by a strong urban alliance. The U7 Group is chaired by the U7 Secretariat consisting of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) as well as the city association from the country leading the G7 that year. In 2023, the G7 Presidency is held by Japan and thus the Japan Designated City Mayors’ Association (JDCMA) is fulfilling that role in the U7 Group.